Education

03.04.19

‘New era’ for EdTech as DfE launches new £10m strategy

The government has launched a new £10m strategy to support leading tech companies to work with schools and colleges in a “new era” for EdTech.

Education secretary Damian Hinds wants the use of technology in education to help reduce teacher workload, boost student outcomes, and help “level the playing field” for those with special needs and disabilities.

Hinds unveiled the Education Technology strategy at an event in London, stating that the £10m scheme will transform EdTech, supporting innovation and raising the bar in schools, colleges and universities across England.

He said the strategy is “just the first step in making sure the education sector is able to take advantage of all of the opportunities available through EdTech.”

The strategy sets out plans to support tech firms to work with the education sector and create innovative solutions to 10 key education challenges.

These include reducing teachers’ marking workload, boosting training opportunities for teachers, identifying how anti-cheating software could be used, and promoting innovative tech supporting those with special educational needs and disabilities.

The strategy also sets out plans to create an “EdTech leadership group” bringing together figures from education and industry to oversee the ‘wider EdTech agenda’.

Damian Hinds commented: “For too long in education, technology has been seen as something that adds to a teacher’s workload rather than helps to ease. Technology is an enabler and an enhancer.

“We now call on schools, businesses and technology developers to realise the huge potential of technology to transform our schools so that teachers have the time to focus on teaching, their own professional development, and – crucially – are able to cater to the needs of every single one of their pupils.”

Chris Skidmore, the minister for universities, science, research and innovation, added: “As the way we interact with technology is changing at an ever-increasing rate, it is more important than ever that the education system keeps pace with the change around us.

“The collaboration enabled by this strategy will provide an unprecedented boost to the role technology has to play in schools, colleges and universities, and support the UK’s dynamic EdTech sector to develop an ever-wider range of exciting products and technology solutions.”

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